By DAVE ITZKOFF
A music promoter in Israel said that the country was being subjected to “cultural terrorism” as more artists canceled planned performances there, Agence France-Presse reported.
Over the weekend the alternative-rock band the Pixies withdrew from what would have been its first-ever show in Israel, as part of the Pic.Nic music festival scheduled in Tel Aviv this week. “We’d like to extend our deepest apologies to the fans, but events beyond all our control have conspired against us,” the group said in a statement. The bands Gorillaz and the Klaxons have also withdrawn from the festival, after a raid by Israeli commandos on a Gaza-bound flotilla. Last month, Elvis Costello canceled two concerts he was to perform in Israel this summer, citing the complexities of the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
After the announcement of the Pixies’ cancellation, Shuki Weiss, the promoter of the Pic.Nic festival, said in a statement, “I am full of both sorrow and pain in light of the fact that our repeated attempts to present quality acts and festivals in Israel have increasingly been falling victim to what I can only describe as a form of cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide.”
He added: “These ‘sudden’ decisions affect thousands of Israeli music lovers turning them into victims and robbing them of a handful of hours of joy, adrenalin and culture, in the name of suffering they have neither caused nor wish for.”